Re: ***Official Dark Souls Feedback Thread***
OK I was too tired to write up my initial impressions last night so here goes:
- The game is surprisingly better looking than Demon's Souls. I have seen videos, etc. but seeing it in action is very impressive. The sound is absolutely incredible.
- The controls feel more responsive. Dodging/rolling is not a binary <1/2 equip burden anymore, it seems to scale linearly. I believe higher Dexterity allows faster rolling with lower recovery as well. To compensate, heavy armor removes "flinching" from many attacks and provides hefty damage reduction. This is a big change in my opinion because in Demon's Souls I found it easier to wear as little armor as possible to stay mobile and reduce stamina penalties.
- I have yet to encounter upgrade stones but from what I can tell there are no longer "Crushing/Sticky/Quality" etc. weapon upgrades. From the wikis, several weapons require very large investments (50+) in a particular offensive stat like Strength or Dexterity, so making a hybrid may not be viable in high level play.
- Level layout is great so far with plenty of hidden treasure and sneaky almost-unnoticeable ambushes. Watch corners closely and if a monster looks too tough to beat, it probably is! Excluding bosses. I have only seen the tutorial boss and the Taurus demon so far, but they are extremely easy.
- There are inaccessible areas which you would need to return to later once you become more powerful / gain access by obtaining keys. A sort of metroid-lite exploration system.
- This game is harder than Demon's Souls. It's not just that I haven't played it before. Even on my fifth or sixth time trying to progress through a level I still had a rough time because even the standard enemies are quite dangerous. Not unreasonable though - just watch their attack patterns. Also I tend to go for a lot of ripostes which I do not recommend on your first time through until you have telecasts and timing mastered. Your enemies also heal themselves, though while doing so they are as vulnerable as you.
- The Humanity system seems to be a currency which allows you to return to Human form after becoming Hollowed (essentially soul form without the drawbacks, as far as I can tell) as well as allowing you to Kindle at a bonfire which increases your Estus Flask swigs. You can't Kindle a fire unless you are in human form. It seems that once a bonfire is kindled, it always provides bonus flasks when you rest at that particular one. This is very helpful since certain stages are very long and 5 flasks really don't cut it.
- Speaking of Humanity, you gain it from killing bosses and finding it on corpses. Again I do not know what the difference between being hollowed and human is from a practical standpoint but I believe it has to do with the multiplayer aspect of the game. I do know that Black Phantoms cannot indiscriminately invade other games; it is all based on the covenant system. It may be that only Hollowed characters can leave soul signs for cooperative play, but I haven't checked yet.
I'm considering restarting the game with a more flexible starting character. The game doesn't just dump a load of souls on you early on like Demon's Souls did and you can't hit Slvl 30+ within 30 minutes. I probably played about 2 hours and finished a few sections but it's tough stuff. Still it was incredibly fun and I never really got frustrated. If I sat all day playing it I probably would get a little on edge. Speaking of which I'm about to go do that - back later with more!
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